TOWARDS A RHETORIC OF ROLES: SELF-FASHIONING AS INVENTION STRATEGY IN THE RHETORIC AND COMPOSITION CLASSROOM
Robertson, Jacob Levi
MetadataShow full item record
Rhetoric and composition studies addresses the problem of student self-presentation by appealing to the discourse of social roles: the “roles” of Writer and Reader, Rhetor and Audience. But this role- rhetoric is only vernacular, not theorized, so the concept remains too abstract to be practical for rhetorical analysis and invention. This dissertation analyzes the role-rhetoric in rhet/comp discourse to discover what it reveals about rhetoric generally and in order to develop a more rigorously theoretical rhetoric of role. I examine the evolution of Kenneth Burke’s role-rhetoric during the development of “dramatism,” arguing that it provides a foundation for developing a rhetoric of role that allows rhetors to draw, potentially, from the gamut of human social roles as commonplaces for self-fashioning, and I consider what this tells us about rhetoric and persuasion, and suggest some ways this rhetoric of roles might inform pedagogy.